Don’t I have enough to worry about?

I have to admit, right up front, that I have had a really good summer, all things considered. I mean, I’m on my own, alone. My girls are a 2.5 hour drive away which isn’t terrible in and of itself, but they  have their own lives now and busy. So I didn’t see them at all this summer. That super sucked. And not being in a relationship or having that special someone in my life, I am quite on my own. However, the saving grace was my summer retreat. I made the decision, as you may recall, to get back into boating now that I no longer had to deal with the disapproval of my now ex-wife. Because I love boating. And that, my friends, was my saving grace. On of the best decisions I made. Though small, one of the smallest in the marina, my little puppy is perfect for me and easy to live on for long periods of time. 

The best thing about it all though, is the people that I met. I have a made a bunch of new acquantiances, and a few really good friends. People that know about me, get it and appreciate who I am for me. I am truly thankful they are in my life. They made this summer an amazing time in, what is now, my new life. Especially when compared to last summer, which, while it was my first summer as my authentic self and was extremely liberating, was very, very lonely. This summer was anything but that. But there’s a rub. There is always a rub.

I’m busy. We are all busy with our lives. Nothing new. I’m also dealing with settling into my new life as me. That is an ongoing process. Probably will be for a while yet. Who knows? I don’t. So I’m just plodding along with that. Then l’m dealing with being alone and on my own and what that means. Trying not to think about the future in this regard is tough, at least for me. I don’t really do well with uncertainty. I’m getting better at it. One of the things I need to work on, is getting better at going with the flow. Anywho, all of this is quite enough, thank you. But wait, there’s more. There are other things to deal with in my world that is, really, more small “p” political than anything else.

Every community has its own little dynamic, and mine is no different. For me, here, it’s about being a single woman, older woman, owning and captain of her own boat. And one that actual takes her boat out on her own, cruises, docks etc. So there is a little under current about that. Not sure if other people think it’s weird but there is something there. Then there is the whole being single thing as well. All the boats are pretty much couples. So I am the “odd” person out (probably in more ways than one!!). Not sure if it makes people uncomfortable, but it does some, not all, but some. And it’s not really overt, no, everyone is nice enough and polite, but there is, once again, something very subtle going on. I suspect it is unconscious on their part, but I see it. Intentionally or not, it does impact me. Not sure why I let it, but then again, I only have so much energy to deal with so much stuff. 

Then you layer on top of that, everything else I have going on in my life as I mentioned at the beginning, and sometimes, not always, but sometimes, it gets to be a bit much. But that is where my good friends take over. I can wander down to anyone of their boats and everything is fine. I can relax and be, well, me. No apologies, explanations, etc. And that is what I have gained this summer. Some great new friends. You never know when or where you are going to meet such people. Be ready to accept them when they do show up. You may not get another chance. And that’s what thing I have been really trying to do, put myself out there more. Taking more risks with people. What a lot of people would call “outgoing”, which I am not, at least I haven’t been in the past. But when you start to not only love yourself, but like yourself, for the first time, it is much easier. I am more comfortable in just being me and if people don’t like it? Well, that’s their issue, not mine. I know I’m not perfect, that’s for damn sure. But I am who I am.

And I like it.  



I know, I know. I haven’t posted anything for a bit. It’s not that I don’t have anything to talk about, but in a way, I really don’t. At least not educational or “therapeutic”. Life right now is good. Really good. There is nothing I have to rant about. Nothing that is really upsetting me. Nothing that really concerns me. Okay, well maybe that last one isn’t true. There is a lot of stuff going on that concerns me, mostly in the U.S. I can rant about that, and I have, both on my Facebook change and on my blog. Don’t think it helps much.

It may have helped me to rant and get it out of my system so to speak. But then it really isn’t out of my system. I can still turn into a raving lunatic at the drop of hat about the alleged leader of the U.S. and how he is mistreating and abusing members of my community. But it has absolutely no impact. And given that I am up here in Canada, there is even less of a reason for people to get any benefit from it. So, not much point, really.

Given all that, I really don’t have much to say. I could go on and on about how good my life is and how well I am doing, but what is the point? Other than making look like a bragging, self indulging moron, not much really. I’m good. I don’t see the point in letting the world now, ad nauseam, that everything is fine. Why rub people’s faces in it?

So, as of this moment, not a lot to write about. Some people who transition speak of the year two “blahs”. This apparently is a feeling of minor depression that happens in the second of year of living full time as your authentic self. That, I haven’t experienced. I’m happy. Really happy.  Sure, I have my days. I think we all do. But over all? Happy! Maybe I will having something more to contribute in a few days. But as of right now? My life is pretty boring. And that is actually nice, for a change. Ho Hum.

I can deal with that!

Life is good, so what’s the problem??

Yup. You’ve heard me say it before, but you’re gonna hear it again. 95% of my life is friggin’ awesome, 5%, not so much. Made it through my transition and moving forward with my life. So what’s the problem, right? As always, it’s in my head. I totally own this. I feel guilty.

I’ve been conditioned over the years, if not decades, to feel guilty about many things. Mostly due to gender dysphoria. I felt guilty of the pain and anguish I caused so many people during my “pre-transition” years. While there is still a bit of that kicking around, it is much much better. The reason that it is still kicking around is that there are still triggers in my life, and at times they get right in my face. Such is the case with my family.

And it is usually around the time of special occasions. Like this upcoming weekend. Labour Day. While not a “special occassion”, it is a time, typically, when families get together. At least ours did. Not anymore. So, that causes a bit of sadness for me. Because it is due to the divorce and the kids feel compelled to divide their time equally between their two parents and the logistics involved etc, etc etc. Knowing that you’re the cause of the breakup can be a bitter pill to swallow.

However, and this is where my adult brain kicks in…at some point, others have to take responsibilities for their own feelings. As my youngest told her mother “it’s been two years, get over yourself”. But as trans people, we harbour the majority of the guilt. It seems to come with the territory. At least it did for me. And that’s something I have to get over.

I am responsible for my feelings and my reactions. I can control those. I can’t control the feelings and reactions of others. That lays at their feet. So I have to learn to let that go. If they make their lives complicated, not much I can do. It they are still upset and angry, not much I can do. Life happens. Move on.

While I love my two girls dearly and with all my heart, at some point, there has to be some tough love. At some point it has to be “really? You’re still on that?” But as a parent, or at least for me, that is really hard to do. We protect our children. We take the bullet for them. That’s what we do. But at some point, it becomes a bit of a life lesson, and focus on being in a happy place, not a bitter place.

I’m not going anywhere. I am who I am, and not going to change. This is me. At some point, don’t we need to move forward as a family as well as individually?? Maybe it’s just me. Am I being too hard on those around me? Everyone’s answer is probably different, as everyone’s situation is different. Trying to move forward. Why spend 95% of my time focusing on the 5%. Maybe it’s time to flip that switch and check out the 95% of my life.


Great conversations…

This experience falls under the category of “you just never know when…”.

I was at an appointment this morning with an oral surgeon and was speaking with the office manager with whom I was to meet for an hour to review the results of a previous diagnostic appointment and treatment options etc, etc. etc. No biggy. Well, what was supposed to be a one hour appointment became a two hour appointment! This was due to the fact that she had a ton of questions upon learning that I was transgendered.

Now, this is not something that I bring up on a regular basis, trust me on that. We had to go through my medical history, so the whole story around my heart surgery etc, etc, etc. Medications I am on and any other treatments/surgeries that are coming in the future that may impact how well I tolerate the procedure and meds etc. etc. etc. So, as you can imagine, it became pretty clear to her pretty quick that I was trans. That’s when the second hour of the “appointment” started.

She had a ton of questions. All of which lead to a wonderful conversation. She was totally accepting and was actually quite fascinated. While she was supportive in general to the LGBTQ community in general, it was her first opportunity to really engage in a learning opportunity with someone who is trans. And she took full advantage of it! She had a ton a of questions, and some basic misconceptions, just as many in the general public do. So I was glad to provide that information and clarify a lot of what she had been thinking.

She was very apologetic and was hoping that the questions and subsequent conversation was not too invasive or personal. In fact, there were no questions that I had not been asked before by friends or by audiences when I do speaking engagements. But seeing how everyone’s reactions and thoughts are different, it was almost like the first time I had been asked those questions. It was really cool to watch the penny drop and see the many “aha” moments that she experienced.

In the end, she was so appreciative of my honesty and time and felt very honored to have had the opportunity for such a private conversation. Unfortunately, it didn’t result in any discount for the procedure!! Ha Ha. But in the end, I have a new friend and ally. Their practice is now more informed given that I am the first transgendered patient (that they know of, I hastened to add….another aha moment for her). So it was a good use of an hour of my time for sure.

Just goes to show, you never know when…

Transitioning: The ups and downs of the roller coaster…

To say that my journey seeking authenticity had its ups and downs is a gross understatement. But I knew that going in. No surprise there. Okay, a bit of a surprise. While I knew it was going to happen, I just didn’t fully appreciate the extent, the extremes that I would face. Okay, so fair enough. That’s my cross to bare, more accurately, to endure, work through, survive. What I had completely missed, or not anticipated or prepared for, was that people around me would have the same experience. 

For most of my family members, that ride was relatively short lived. But they experienced it none the less. Sure, there are still occasions when they experience a “twinge” as a result of my transition. However, they are now very few and far between. For my youngest, though, it has been a very long  and arduous road to acceptance. For her, it was a huge number of steps backwards initially. She was devastated by the loss of her father. Oh sure, I can say it’s still me, and work on that logical argument. But it was not her brain that was crushed, it was her heart. And I get that. I totally get that. We were really close. Then not at all. Over the next two years, that would be tamed to “one step forward, two steps back”. Which is still moving backwards. That has since changed to “two steps forward, one step back”. 

It is now mostly moving forward, so we are getting back to being close again. Will we ever get back to where we were before? Who knows? I somehow I doubt it. The relationship will never be the same. It will be srong, but different none the less. I try to give her as much time as she needs. That’s the price I have to pay. And I should be the one picking up the tab on this, not her, or anyone else for that matter. But it just doesn’t work that way. Too bad. 

What brought this whole line of thought to the fore front? Well, we really had a good chat over the phone last night. Just over an hour. It was like all of this never happened, but of course it did. Maybe that’s what makes it such a special moment in my story. She called initially to get some advice on an issue at work, in particular with her new assistant. So we chatted about that for a big chunk of time. I think we were able to formulate a strategy together that would address the issue with a “win-win” solution. Not exactly a riveting conversation you say? Fair enough. Perhaps some context would help. 

Immediately upon learning of my transition, she had a very frank conversation with me. Actually, it was more of she talked, I listened, per her instructions. She was totally terrified that she had just completely lost her dad, and all that meant to her. She told me that she went to mom for emotional support and conversations around her feelings etc. She came to me for problem solving, to kick her butt (her words not mine) to stop procrastinating and get on with things, particularly when it came to her career in law – my turf. “The last thing I need is two moms”. That was her final comment. 

So, perhaps now you can see that the conversation last evening was very much like you used to have prior to my transition. It was a glimpse of “two steps forward” that I was so desperately wanting! But I knew she had to get there on her own. No amount of pressure from me was going to help. It fact it would probably have made things worse. I had to give her the time and space to get there on her own. And that, folks, is no mean feat. 

The remainder of the conversation was organizing a weekend together in Toronto. I have to go there to fly out to speak at a corporate event, so we are going to take advantage of that opportunity and spend the evening and next day together before I fly out. Shopping, or dinner and a show, etc. her call. All I care about is spending time with her. She is such an awesome young woman, as is my other daughter.

I have always said, we don’t transition in isolation. We should respect that everyone else around us transitions as well, into a new relationship. Nothing has been more true in my experience. But at least we are getting there. We still have more to go, more work to be done. And who knows, our “new normal” may be better than before. Given that I am happier, more confident, more engaged and just “plugged in”, so to speak, it might just happen. Regardless, I cherish all these great moments. 

Baby steps…

Back in the saddle…

Sigh. Back at work this week. Drinking a little bit from a fire hose right now. On day three of a migraine. So, kinda dragging my butt a bit. Trying not to let it get to me, but that’s kinda hard to do. Haven’t slept very well the past 2 or 3 nights because of it. I probably should be resting more. Been a busy week both at work and socially. Monday evening was an electro appointment. You may not think that is something one would consider social, but she is one of my best friends. We tell each other e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g….so it’s kind of a chat, bitch session, and therapy for both of us all rolled into one. And with the need for electro all but gone, we actually spend most of our time on our weekly walk. So it’s good.

Tuesday, went to see a movie with a friend. Decided I needed to get out of the house so off we went. That is always a good time! Wednesday I crashed as soon as I got home. Between migraine, meds, and just feeling icky, I went to bed early. But while it was somewhat restful, not exactly a great sleep. Yesterday was a retirement party for a colleague at work. I’ve know him for 17 years, so I really wanted to be there for him and his awesome family. Glad I went. But it was also tiring.

Then the usual phone calls with my sister and my daughters…which are never shorter than an hour. But it’s all good. This is just my life. Normal, everyday life of a middle aged woman. So trying not to complain too much about stuff.

This weekend promises to be better. Off to the boat. Looking after a friend of mine’s puppy on Friday night while she is at a wedding, so that will be good. Rambo is an awesome dog, loves to snuggle with me, so we’ll go for a walk, have dinner, play ball a bit then settle into to watch a movie or read a book or something until his mom comes home. The rest of the time will be full on relax. Not much planned, that’s for sure. So probably just relax with a few friends on whatever boat we decide to gather on, read, nap, etc. Really don’t care if the weather isn’t great. I’ll just curl up on the couch and either watch a movie or read. If I stay awake!! Ha ha.

I am very fortunate in that I have so many new friends at the marina, and I am now “aunty Erin” to 4 or 5 dogs. They all stop by the boat as they are going down the dock, looking for a rub and a bit of play time. A few of them jump on board, entering into the upper salon. It’s awesome! Three of them are labs, one chocolate and two yellow, so I am right in my element. They are all so hilarious!

So right now, it’s the little things that keep me going. Next week promises to be a bit better. Work won’t be as ridiculous. I’ll have more time to write. Have another radio show to do, which is good. That is so fun to do, and really quite easy.  Being a guest commentator, I simply just answer question they ask about a given topic, so no prep needed.

No drama, no disasters, no crisis….at least not yet. So I’m just going with the flow that is my new normal. But trust me there was a time I never thought I would have that. Normalcy. But I gotta say, it is a good thing. To live a happy, albeit somewhat boring life, is such a cool thing to experience. No dysphoria. No misgendering. No confrontations. It’s times like these that I realize I am so fortunate. And I do know that I am fortunate, and this may not be the norm for people in my community. That in and of itself, is actually quite sad. I need to try to be better and helping out. Just this week has been a bit icky.

But I am going to try….


Biting my tongue…again…

Yet again, a bit of an issue popped up on the family front on the weekend. I won’t go into to details as it is private, but suffice to say that I was pissed. My response, once I had taken some time to try to cool off, was guarded. The reason being is that I am trying to take the high road and not throw anyone under the bus, in particular anyone in my family. This especially applies to anything involving my two wonderful girls when it comes to their mother. I try to support their relationship with their mother, and encourage them to spend time together. She is their mother and there is a lot of love there, as there should be. (Too bad that wasn’t being reciprocated. Sigh.)

It serves no purpose to demonize her in front of the kids. Well, actually, it does. It would make me feel a whole better about stuff!! But, while this journey is about me, it’s not about me alone. Everyone around me is also transitioning, trying to find the new normal that works for them. For some, that happens quicker than others. Some may need more of a gentle touch. And I get that. It had 55 years to wrestle this thing to the ground. I can’t expect them to wrap their heads around it in 30 seconds.

Having said that, I am getting friggin’ tired of being the only one taking the high road. Cuz my ex sure isn’t. So I smile and put on a good face and respond how lovely it is for them to do whatever (insert family event here), and glad that you had a good time. I’ve been told that I have to maintain the status quo. In fact, I am not able to tell al ot of my story and my pain of having gender dysphoria to my girls, or my ex. She doesn’t want to hear it. She doesn’t want my girls to hear it.

So I am expected to listen to how much my transition has impacted them. All their difficulties, sadness, anger etc. But I can’t tell them how much I suffered. I know it would not be an easy thing for them to hear. I understand that. And perhaps it would do them more harm than good. And at the end of the day, it would only make me feel better. So what is the point?

As a parent, it is my job to protect my children, to do what is best for them, to sacrifice, for them. So I do. But at times, it’s not easy. For this particular instance, it’s also frustrating. And unfair….I think. But I do it. So I bite my tongue, sit on my hands, count to 10 (okay more like 100…a few times). I don’t respond, I don’t send that email or text. Oh, don’t get me wrong. I scream and yell, curse and swear, and cry. But I don’t send it. I protect my girls. The hard part is that with other things, that is not who I am. I mean I am super protective of my girls when it comes to other people. You can mess with me all you want, but you don’t mess with my girls. This mama dragon will breath hell fire all over you. And it won’t be pretty.

Someday, there may come a time when I can unload all of this on my ex. To tell her just how bad it was. Why I was in no shape to support her or the marriage because I was literally just hanging on by a thread, and it was already frayed and stretched to the max. To tell her that at least I am still here, because the alternative was very real. So, I do what I am told, what is expected of me. Keep the family peace. But it is wearing thin, so some day, at some point, people will hear what they have been avoiding, whether they like it or not.

Until then, my tongue is getting really sore….

Alone Again – naturally…

Sometimes a phrase or lyric pops into your head, who knows why. Earlier this morning, I was sipping coffee on the forward sun deck of my boat, when those oh so famous words by Gilbert O’Sullivan spun musically in my thoughts. Now, while aspects of the story behind this song ring true to my experience, it was not as much the really dark side of this that brought this to mind. It was, I think, the fact that I was by myself. Again.

Now, before we continue, let me state, yet again, for the record, that I’m really happy and doing well on my own. But I will be the first to admit there are times, short bursts of thought, where I actually do wish that there was someone with whom to share things. And this morning was just such a time. It was almost a magical moment, so to speak. Sitting there, witnessing the wonderful view that is the morning sun on calm waters, reflections still, as herons launch into flight.  And not a sound, nothing except the occasional creak of the lines on my dock. 

Almost instinctively, I turn and sigh outloud “Isn’t this the best?”. To no one. And that’s when it hits. I utter the words of that lyric, alone again, naturally. I shake it off, and continue to enjoy the morning, and as others arise and the dock comes to life, I have very pleasant chats with my friends. While this is the best possible environment for me, it does have its sticky points. Mind you, they are not enough to make me think that I shouldn’t be here. Not even for a nano second! I love living on a boat, and being here for three straight weeks, in all sorts of weather, it has been so amazing. So comfortable. It really is who I am. I was meant to live on a boat and so looking forward to being able to do this virtually full time in more “southern climes” when I retire.

The sticky point is that at this marina, it is virtually all couples. Fortunately for me, I have so many awesome friends here, but they are couples. There are only two other boats, captained by single women, all my age. So, being alone is pretty much in my face all the time. But I was a ready for that. When I made the decision to transition, I was fully preparing myself for a solitary life, being alone for the rest of my life. But at least it would be my life, and I was going to be around to experience it. That’s all good, right? So I can take it. But there are times, very fleeting times that I feel the twinge. 

Before anyone leaps up to my defense, I am open to a relationship, and if something falls in my lap, so to speak, I am prepared to consider it, if it’s the right person. And there are many, many people in my corner that insist that I will not be alone for long. It is sweet for them to say so, and I appreciate it. But I live in the present. So every now and again, I feel that little pinch of heart pain. The good news is that I feel it. Better than the alternative!! Ha ha.

The one thing that really makes me feel sad as I type this, is that this is such a common outcome for people who transition. Adjusting to a solitary life. Who would choose that? This is just another piece of evidence for the point of view that this is not a life style choice. No one would go through this to say “oh goody, I’m going to be all alone for the rest of my life”. Nonsense. 

So remember this if you know someone who is transgender. We are alone a lot. Friends are more important than ever. Be that friend. If you are trans, I feel your pain. I don’t have the answer. In fact, I don’t have any answers. But I can say that I am here. There are many of us that are here. Reach out, engage, speak up. People in your life can’t hear you if you say nothing. And let them into your life. I did, and I don’t regret it for a minute. 

Moving on…

Transitions: There are good people out there…

I know we all hope for acceptance as our authentic selves. It seems that it is such a basic thing, why should we have to hope for it? Sadly, many in my community have to. In fact, many only have hope to cling to as they are not accepted by their family or friends, or work etc. What the Cis gendered community takes for granted, it’s what keeps those of us in the LGBTQ community awake at night. Fortunately, for me, it has not been an issue. But it is still something that I think about, am concerned about, and hope that I continue to have the good fortune that I have. I know, lucky me. 

Sometimes it comes when least expected, or at least not anticipated. That is the experience I had the other day. Again, lucky me. Virtually everyone that I know are in one of two groups. They knew me before I transitioned, and are still with me to this day. The other group are people that didn’t know me prior to transition, but are good friends. The assumption being that they haven’t guessed that I’m transgendered (which I find hard to believe), or they have figured it out and are evolved enough to not care. Either way, I don’t really care. I am treated with dignity and respect, as a human being, a woman. WIth this group, I haven’t told any of them, so the risk is low that I would have any issues. As of yesterday, I have started a third group of people. Those that I have told or they found it and know for certaint that I’m trans and they don’t care, they are still my friends. Here’s the story.

I have had the great opportunity to meet so many new people at my marina, all of whom are really great. I have purposefully not come out to them. I am passed that. All I want to do is simply live my life. So what is the point of coming out? Don’t get me wrong. I’m neither hiding or ashamed of who I am. For those of you that know me, nothing could be further from the truth. My transition involved a lot of really hard work and loss. In the end I’m proud of who I am. All that being said, I don’t hide info about me, so when someone asks to friend me on FaceBook, they can easily discover my story. Such is the case with a friend of mine yesterday. 

I was sitting with a lovely couple in the aft lounge of their gorgeous yacht, enjoying a wonderful conversation and their company.Turns out we have a lot in common; love of boats, dogs, and family, etc. So when she asked if she could share a few links that I wanted to have, via Facebook, I easily agreed. And I knew, knew, that there was a possibility that they learn of my secret. Okay, maybe secret is not the correct word, but the right one eludes me at this time, so it will have to do. I was to learn later, that this is exactly what happened. 

This new friend made a point of coming down to my boat the next day to apologize for how she thought she had dismissed the loss of my best friend, my dog Abby, as somewhat insignificant. Which was not my perception at all, but regardless I accepted the hug for sure! It was a very kind gesture! She said that she read my blog and discovered the circumstances surrounding her passing. So I know knew for sure she knew. And you know what? It made absolutely no difference. Nada. Zip. We chatted for about another 15 or 20 minutes, then she left giving me a big hug and whispered that I am very special and that we are going to be great friends. I still tear up a bit when I think of it now. 

Sometimes I think that this is the best type of acceptance. They have very little invested in the relationship and could easily cut me loose, so to speak, with no loss. Not much down side for them. But they didn’t. And that’s what makes our relationship that much more special. Ever since I transitioned, and in fact for a period before that, my spidey senses, to coin a phrase, have really developed. I can read people really well, so I can tell who is going to be fine and who isn’t . So when she asked for my Facebook name, I wasn’t concerned, because I was pretty sure it was going to be okay. And I was right. As a result, I am looking forward to spending some time with really awesome people. 

Here’s to you Stephanie and Bill. Thank you!

My new reality…Am I ready?

Okay, so that is a bizarre title, but stay with me. I hope, at some point, it will make sense.

Lately, I have been going a bit up and down as to how I think my transition is going. For the most part, that has all been in my head, my own doing. Okay, so it maybe all in my part. I a big enough person to realize the possibility. That, and everyone around me is saying the same thing! I have always said, and you maybe tired of hearing it, but this journey, to transition, is not for the feint of heart. By a long shot. A lot of it has to do with confidence. Self confidence. And no matter how well your transition goes, it is still a factor.

Take my experience. Case in point. Now, I say the following not to brag, but to make a point. My transition really couldn’t have gone any smoother. With the exception of my divorce, which I knew 19 years ago would happen when I did transition, it has been a remarkable success. I still have my job and doing better than ever. Being offered speaking opportunities to the point I am having to turn them down. More friends than ever before. I could literally be out every evening with different friends just hanging out and having a good time. And being asked to join the leadership team of various activist groups. Then there is family. I have never been closer with my family than I am right now. Finally, ever since I transitioned full time, in fact even before that, I have never, ever, been mis-gendered at any time or anywhere, even when travelling.

So by all accounts, I should be fine right? Ya, that would be nice. But even with all this, my confidence can still be shaky. Maybe it’s a sense of disbelief that no one has issues with me. I mean, just like you, I hear all the stories of heart breaking abandonment and serious conflict that trans people experience. It is all around us. Given that, I went into this fully expecting the worst. That is who I am. Plan for the worst and hope for the best.

With my success, and the fact that I still have doubts, imagine what it is like for those that face real struggles?? Their doubts are real. Their challenges are real. Their sadness and fear are real. Oh my gosh. How sad. My heart goes out to them. I with I could do more than just offer words. I am both sad and fearful for so many of my friends that do struggle. That’s probably why I am active in the community, politically, to try and raise awareness and make some type of impact, regardless of how small. Not sure if I make any impact, but regardless, I keep going.

Part of my issues (of which there are many, trust me!! ha ha) is that when my confidence does take a bit of a hit, I feel guilty about it. I have no right to feel like that when I look at what others in my community face. So that just piles on. But I am getting much better with my confidence. I have been speaking with a few people on my transition team the past few weeks and that has helped. One in particularly really slapped me hard up side  the head and gave me a reality check. That was all part of a longer conversation, about three hours long one evening, about my life in general with a focus on some specifics – more about that to follow in an additional post once I digest it all. (Thanks ‘Becca!!)

I have also just spoken on the phone with a truly amazing woman in the U.S. who is part of my tribe, or cluster, or family, as she said last night. We spoke of her experiences and how they mirror mine. We examined what is going on in our communities and how they relate. By getting me to focus on the big picture she was able to ground me in dealing with the micro issues that I am having. All without dismissing them. It helped to take my own power back and not let my confidence take “a hit”. And that is always helpful. People like her help to keep me grounded and I am so fortunate to have them in my life. Parenthetically, I am hoping to see her and her partner soon on an upcoming trip!! Yippee!

My message?? Is that bouts of low self confidence are normal, almost expected. They shouldn’t be surprising, (although sometimes they can sneak up on you, and that can be totally surprising). They are manageable, and eventually, will subside. Surround yourself with people you can trust. Supporters and cheerleaders (see previous posts for the difference) are wonderful things to have in your life. Get them if you can.

This is a long journey. Some aspects of it are amazing. Some not so much. While I have settled into my life, I have to totally accept this new normal and just my normal. This is my life. Leave all doubts behind. No reason for them. And they are not productive. I have waited for this my entire life. I will be ready. I am ready.

Bring it on.